National Theatre Wales Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage with Gareth Thomas on tour

Gareth Thomas

I know nothing about rugby I can’t wait to see the touring production of the National Theatre Wales and Out of Joint’s Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage about the sporting legend Gareth Thomas.

The new, verbatim play, which has the full blessing of Gareth “Alfie” Thomas, is directed by Max Stafford-Clark, and tours Wales and England this spring.

“I was doing something nobody had done before, and if you’re the first to do something, you have to be prepared to take the sh*t for it,” admits the sportsman.

On the eve of one of the most important games of his career, Welsh rugby legend Gareth Thomas received a warning: The Sun newspaper was going to “out” him as gay.

This is the story of two Welsh names bruised, but not beaten, by media speculation; Gareth “Alfie” Thomas, 100 caps for Wales, once its captain, now the world’s most prominent gay sportsman; and his hometown, Bridgend.

Working with Alfie himself, and young people in Bridgend, two of the UK’s most exciting theatre companies – National Theatre Wales and Out of Joint – have teamed up to tell a great story about sport, politics, secrets, life and learning to be yourself.

The all-Welsh cast has also been confirmed as: Patrick Brennan, Katie Elin-Salt, Daniel Hawksford, Lauren Roberts, Rhys ap William and Bethan Witcomb.

Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage will open in Cardiff, in February, and tour venues across Wales and England.

Writer Robin Soans is celebrated for his documentary, verbatim plays based on interviews with real people.

They have included Out of Joint’s acclaimed shows Mixed Up North, A State Affair and Talking to Terrorists, which was nominated for Best Play at the TMA awards.

Others include Life After Scandal about Christine and Neil Hamilton, and The Arab-Israeli Cookbook, which also spawned a book of recipes.

His most recent play was the critically acclaimed fictional drama Perseverance Drive which played at the Bush Theatre in 2014.

2015 TOUR DATES

Wales

February 19-March7, Sherman Theatre, Cardiff
March 10-14, Aberystwyth Arts Centre
March 17-20, Pontio Presents @ Neuadd Ogwen, Bethesda
March 24-25, The Coliseum, Aberdare
March 26-28, Bridgend College Sony Theatre, Bridgend
March 31-April 4, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
April 8-11, Watford Palace Theatre, Watford, Herts
April 14-18, Hull University
April 21-25, Liverpool Playhouse
April 27, Felsted School, Essex
April 28-29, Stahl Theatre, Oundle School, Peterborough
April 30 The Leys School, Cambridge
May 1, Lincoln Performing Arts Centre
May 5-9, Exeter Northcott Theatre, Exeter
May 20-June 20, Arcola Theatre, London.

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